One of nature’s true superfoods, hemp, comes with a list of health and beauty benefits, yet finding a high quality source isn’t always as simple as a trip to your local supermarket, with many imported products sporting labels warning against internal use, deemed fit only for animal consumption.
Hemp seeds are darlings of the holistic health and beauty industries thanks to their high fibre, protein, Vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc content, as well as an abundance and balance of good fats.
“Hemp seed oil has three times more antioxidants than flax seed oil and is rich in Omega 3 and 6. It’s also a wonderful substitute to fish oil,” says holistic health coach, model and natural beauty advocate, Elise Carr. “It’s also very safe, as it’s toxin free it does not harm your body. It is also sustainable—no need for herbicides, pesticides or fertilisers to grow hemp so you are looking after Mother Earth as you take care of yourself too.”
Getting a daily dose of health-promoting hemp can come from consuming seeds, protein, flour or milk and can be readily added to favourite recipes or smoothies thanks to its mild, nutty flavour.
“Extensive research has proven the myriad of benefits that come from consuming hemp products in our food and applying it on our beautiful bodies,” says Carr. “For example, hemp has 800 milligrams of fibre, compared to zero grams of fibre in cows milk.”
Knowing Hemp from Cannabis
While hemp is often confused with cannabis—which also is known to contain powerful health-supporting properties—hemp is different variety of the same plant. Hemp must contain 0.3 percent or less of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the compound that’s responsible for cannabis’ trademark high.
“There is no illegality in people consuming hemp products as long as they are THC free—nor is there criminality associated with the consumption of hemp,” says Ron Williams, CEO of Lariese Purely Organic, the only Australian company that’s legally permitted to import hemp seed products for human consumption. “However, in saying that, some states do not like it being promoted… they allow retailers to sell it but not promote it for human consumption.”
Hemp seed oil has three times more antioxidants than flax seed oil and is rich in Omega 3 and 6. It’s also a wonderful substitute to fish oil.
According to the Food Safety Standard of Australia and New Zealand, hemp does not have any psychoactive properties, with the level of THC in hemp varying from zero to 0.5. It also states that the THC level in cannabis ranges from three to 15 percent, while hemp seeds, and even marijuana seeds, do not contain any THC.
Hemp for Beauty
Hemp protein is easily digestible with 65 percent globulin edestin and 35 percent albumin protein—more than any other plant. This means its nourishing properties benefit from the inside out, infusing its good fats, vitamin and mineral content more readily than those plants that aren’t as easily digested, such as soy, which is known to contain natural toxins and can be troublesome for digestion.
Applying hemp directly to the skin allows the good fats to penetrate the outer layers.
“It is wonderful for moisturising, repairing and soothing skin and hair… it helps regenerate the skin’s protective layer,” says Carr.
Hemp seeds also contain:
- GLA (Gamma Linolenic Acid). Hemp is one of only five known sources, which include borage seed, evening primrose seed, blackcurrant seed, carrot seed and wheatgerm.
- Almost no carbohydrates, with less than half a gram of sugar per 20 gram serving.
- Fifteen times as much fat-fighting CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) as fish oil.
- Cholesterol-fighting phytosterols: 1480mg per 20 gram serving.
- B vitamins such as folate.
- Vitamin D3. Hemp is the only known plant food source of this bone-strengthening vitamin.